Black Mass has all the hallmarks of being a big budget, respectable gangster epic. All star cast?- check. Based on a decade spanning true story?- check. A star transforming themselves physically?- for better or worse, check. On paper it seems like an easy sell.
The plot concerns itself with James ‘Whitey’ Bulger; (Johnny Depp) a Boston gangster who fed the FBI information on his enemies in exchange for effective immunity. The result was that his gang, The Southies, were given free reign in their own criminal dealings. Gradually, Whitey’s brother; a successful politician (Benedict Cumberbatch doing a bizarre version of the already strange Boston accent) and his FBI agent informee Connolly (Joel Edgerton) realise that, by protecting him, they’re shackled to a madman.